Too hot, hot damn: Parkes to handle Hottest7s heat

22/07/2019 Posted by admin

SEVENS HEAVEN: Former Orange Emus skipper Ben Parkes has risen rapidly through the Northern Territory’s rugby pathways. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOKWhen former Orange Emus skipper Ben Parkes uprooted and moved to Darwin in 2015, playing rugby wasn’t on his radar –let alone rugby sevens.
Nanjing Night Net

Now he’s not just playing the latter form of the game, he’s representing the Northern Territory.

Parkes shone in the Mosquitoes’ history-making National Sevens Championship campaign in Adelaide last year –the side placed fourth and trumped top seedNSW,it’s best ever showing–and he’s retained his place in the 12-man NT squad for this weekend’s Coca-Cola Hottest7s In The World, in Darwin.

TheHottest7swill feature 12 women’s teams and 32 men’ssides from all across Australia as well as Fiji, Singapore and Borneo.

It continues to grow andwith a total prize pool of $80,000 it’sthe richest tournament in the southern hemisphere.

“I’d never played sevens before I came up here, but everyone is huge on it,” Parkes explained.

“It made sense to give it a go, although it’s completely different to the 15-a-side game and it takes time to learn. Fitness is the big one, it’s something else how fit you need to be.

“Being a part of the National Sevens Championship side was incredible experience, it was the Northern Territory’s best ever finish and we knocked off NSW which was a highlight.

“I think it’ll go to another level this weekend though, some of the teams coming are unbelievable and there’s a few ex-internationals playing as well.”

Another level is right.

World Cup-winningAll Black Zac Guildford will lead the Darwin Stallions, that’s just one example of the quality on show at the annual tournament.

Parkes’ Mozzies have drawn the toughest pool in the tournament too, they’ll take on two-timerunners-upGumatj Cavaliers –including former Fijian skipperSetefano Cakaunavalu –along with Fiji’sEagle Warriors and NT Cougars.

But, as the eighth seed in the tournament and with strong results under their belt, there is a real chance the Mozzies could come away with a top four finish –if not better.

STINGERS: Ben Parkes (middle, back), with the Mozzies squad at last year’s nationals. Photo: NT RUGBY

“It’s a pretty tough draw, we’ll be up against it, in fact it’s probably as tough as they come,” Parkes said.

“But for us we’re just looking to play good, structured sevens and build on the nationals campaign.

“It’s as much about learning and gaining experience as winning, although getting the results would be nice.

“I’m really looking forward to it, it’ll be an amazing experience, even if it will be bloody hot.”

Parkes, who plies his trade for Darwin’s University Pirates at club level and is the best part of 70kg wringing wet,said the Mozzies havebeen training for almost six months in preparation for the Hottest7s so despite their tough schedule, so they’ll be as well prepared as possible.

They continued that preparation on Wednesday night with two trial games, and will trainwith the Australian Development Squad on Friday.

“It’s pretty full-on, especially in the heat up here,” Parkes said.

“Obviously a massive focus is staying hydrated and all that sort of thing, the preparation has been good though we’ve been training for a long time for this weekend.”

Parkes is expected to bring his knowledge of the modified format of the game back to Orange in March, he’s planning on turning out for the Aiden Brice All Stars again at the Orange City 10s.

Bathurst’s Darcie Morrison will also be in action, she’ll be representingtheAussie Development Squad.

The Hottest7s kicks off on Saturday, at Darwin’s Land Rover Rugby Park.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Comments are closed.